When packing a backpack, it is different from packing a suitcase because the weight of the backpack matters more when you are carrying it on your shoulders. Usually, many backpacks have only one large compartment and that can be only accessed from the top. So if you put things in the wrong place you are in big trouble. This is why properly packing a backpack is important. Regardless of where are you going, here are some essential tips when packing a backpack:
- Select the Right Backpack
There are different designs and types of backpacks so it is important to select the right backpack with the right features based on your needs. Some backpacks can be transformed into a duffel bag which makes it easy to access the main compartment while some backpacks have wheels so you do not need to carry it on your shoulder all the time.
Regardless of the type of backpack you select make sure to put some weight in it when you try it on, this will make sure that the backpack is comfortable on your body. Further, make sure that the straps can be adjusted properly to place the backpack in the right place and whether the straps are well padded for comfort. Always bring a backpack that you are used to and try to avoid taking a new backpack for a long trip without road-testing it at home.
- Put Things in the Right Place
If the load of the backpack is off-balance, it might injure your back so put heavy items in the vertical center of the pack and try to make them close to your back as much as possible. Put lighter items such as a sleeping bag or clothing at the bottom and then put the heavy stuff in the middle. Make sure to wrap items that can poke your back by using clothes.
Further before packing your stuff, you must decide where to put them while keeping in mind when you need to take them out. For example, if you are taking snacks, a hat, or a raincoat you must either put them in a small pocket or at the top of the main compartment for easy and quick access. You can also use packing cubes to organize clothes to make them more convenient while adding shape and structure to the backpack.
- Minimize What You Carry
Try to minimize what you carry by creating a proper plan about what you are planning to do and creating a list of items based on that will allow you to carry only the stuff that will be useful in your travels. For example, if you are able to wash your clothes, you can minimize the number of clothes you have to carry. Further, try to avoid heavy clothing such as jeans and try to take lightweight and water-resistant hiking pants.
Some backpacks come with certain extra parts that can be removed and added based on the nature of your trip. If your trip does not require you to carry a heavy load you can remove the metal frame in some backpacks to improve the comfortability.
- Compress the Load
Sometimes you can find simple ways to compress your backpack, for example, filling the shoes with socks and storing food inside the cooking pot. Further, there are ways to pack clothing to minimize the space they take, rolling and folding are two ways to pack clothes so try both and find out the best way to pack your clothes. After packing your stuff in your backpack use the external straps to compress the bag as much as possible.
- Protect the Backpack from Rain
Protecting your backpack from the rain is important because you need the contents of the backpack to be dry. Imagine not having dry clothes to wear after hiking in the rain, it is terrible even to think of so make sure to get a backpack that is waterproof. Some backpacks come with a rain cover so make sure to use them properly to protect your backpack from the rain.